AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators

KE Adventure Travel Sustainability

Sustainable Tourism Projects from KE Adventure Travel

To help combat litter and promote the reduction of single-use plastics in Morocco and further afield

In 2019 KE Adventure Travel Project Protect was to reduce litter and single-use plastics in Morocco.

To date, we have completed one section of the 2019 project. We bought 300 KE branded Water-to-Go bottles and started to distribute them overseas. 75 of these went to overseas leaders, including Morocco and Nepal (approximately 20% of our clients travel to these destinations) in November 2019. A further 75 bottles will be sent to more overseas leaders before April 2020. Our agents and leaders are supportive of the project, and it has been well received.

Our clients are getting on board with buying a Water-to-Go bottle, which in turn donates a filter to the leaders. To the end of December we had sold 16 KE branded bottles and therefore generated 16 Water-to-Go filters for the leader’s bottles. The bottles offer is written into the KE booking confirmations, which means with peak booking season in Jan-Mar we hope to see an increase in sales. The marketing team are continuing to push the bottles sales, and we will investigate different methods of marketing the bottles.

We also pledged to arrange two clean up treks in the Sahara in 2019. Due to limited resources we have been unable to complete these in 2020. In January 2020 we will start advertising the clean up trip, with a view to have the trip sold by the end of March. The provisional date is October 2020.

We may not have been able to achieve all we wanted to in 2019 but one positive effect of the implementation of the project in 2019 has been a greater focus on Sustainable and Responsible Travel within the company. We have seen many changes, big and small throughout the office team, overseas agents and activities.

Reducing single-use plastics and encouraging the use of reusable items

AITO Project Protect Testimonial

In 2018 KE made an official commitment to reducing single-use plastics, encouraging the use of reusable items instead. Plastic and waste is becoming an increasing problem, and if we want to keep the places we visit beautiful then we need to take the correct steps to combat this. We believe that everyone needs to work together to fix the plastic problem so we addressed the issue amongst our staff in the UK, our ground agents globally and our clients.
At our Keswick HQ, we removed unnecessary single use products, such as non-reusable soap dispensers, and organised a local litter pick to help with the Lake District’s over tourism issue. We have updated our website to remind our clients to avoid taking single-use items and leaving waste in country for all our 400+ trips. We are also offering a discount on filtered water bottles from Water-to-Go. We have only made five sales so far, so aim to promote the offer more in 2019.
We have sent emails to 118 agents worldwide to highlight our new policy and inform them that clients should no longer be supplied with single-use plastic bottles or encouraged to buy them. We had 83 responses, finding that 62 of our agents don’t use single use at all. Agents who use 500ml bottles have asked for help and are now switching to using larger containers to provide water.
Our customers are really positive about the project. One said: “The guides try to minimize the ecological costs of the trip by reducing waste as much as possible. I really appreciated this”. Other clients have been in touch to say when they feel trips do not meet the standards. This was incredibly useful as it highlighted where we still have work to do.
In 2018 we were ambitious but realistic with our aims and are really happy with the results. Working as a team has been extremely helpful and allowed us to have a wider impact. In the future we will continue working with our agents, staff and clients to reduce ours.

KE Adventure are raising £5,000 in 2017 to help rebuild Nepal

Nepal is one of KE Adventure Travel’s top destinations. Our customers love to travel there! It is also a place close to our hearts, so when it was hit by the devastating earthquake in April 2015 we wanted to do all we could to help this remarkable country get back on its feet. We asked our clients for donations and had an amazing response, raising £165,000 with which we built 10 new schools through The Juniper Trust.
Now just over 2 years later Nepal is no longer in the headlines but it is still in need of our help. Our pledge for 2017 is therefore to raise at least £5,000 to put towards school maintenance and the continuous requests for educational items so that we can continue to help provide the young children with the best schooling possible. By helping to teach them we are contributing towards a better future for Nepal and its subsequent generations.
We hope to achieve this by doing the following:

  • empowering our customers with the option to forgo their free gift and to choose a donation to the Juniper Trust.
  • involving our clients in this objective, so that the value of their holiday experience has been increased.